Been there several times for Dim Sum, before 11:00am there was a special discount but don't know if that is still on. Great selection, very fresh. Dinner is very good as well with good deals on set menus for 4,6 and 10 people. Parking area seems to be quite large, but during the busy times (weekends) end up parking on the street. Recommended.
This was a hit or miss visit as we were in Richmond and looking for a busy parking lot (the secret to a popular restaurant) From the moment we walked in to the time left we were treated well and as the only non-Asians in the restaurant we were certainly not ignored or treated with indifference as is sometimes the case. The food quality was far higher than your average Chinese restaurant and worth the higher prices. The Sauteed Chicken with Ginger and Pineapple ($14.80) was exceptional with large slices of ginger giving the dish a highly flavouful outcome. We also tried the Black Cod in Black Bean sauce ($16.80) that melted in your mouth. Steamed rice at $1.00/person was more than reasonable. No wonder the parking lot was full. Will be back!
Had dinner here with my family a while ago and it was an overall good experience. Service was prompt, and food came out evenly spaced. Food quality was pretty good but not spectacular. We ordered the 6 person set menu, which was pretty pricey, but at least had a lot of seafood in it.
My main complaint is after the meal I was very thirsty, so they must load up on the MSG. I may return in the future.
I've been here on two separate occasions - once for dim sum and once for an early Mother's Day dinner. Dim Sum is solid - good selections, good taste and good value. It's not super crazy packed if you go earlier in the morning, otherwise you're sure to have a wait for both parking and getting a table. For the dinner, we tried the 4 person meal for $118 that includes a lobster, soup, chicken, fish, green beans, fried rice, & red bean dessert. All nicely done - not super big, not super small. Taste-wise is pretty good and we all left full. Service is attentive and speedy. The main captains that take care of all the ins and outs of the restaurants are pretty friendly and helpful. Overall, a place with good Chinese food. =)
I came here for dim sum yesterday at around 12:30... The restaurant was relatively full and little on the noisy side... but that's a good sign, I guess. They don't have the push carts... you order with a card, which is fine. The food came out relatively quickly... I'd say 7-9 minutes.
Food didn't knock my socks off... It was actually quite bland, but it was fresh and hot.
The service is OK.. I had to ask for chilli paste even though most of my dishes had shrimp in it - ha gau and sui mai.
Ambiance is probably the best feature for this restaurant... The ceiling is nice and high and the decor is tasteful.
Value is poor. Most of the dim sum dishes were around 3.50, which seems a little steep to me... The whole lunch (4 dishes) with tip came out to 19 dollars.
I'll take a pass on this place next time I'm in Richmond.
To start with, I am Chinese and eat out at least 10 times a week, so I am very familiar with what they are supposed to do at Chinese restaurants.
We saw on the newspaper that they had Alaskan King Crab special for $13 a lb, so to make sure they would not pull the false advertising or restrictions on us, I called and inquired about the special price and they confirmed that it was indeed $13 a lb and I made a reservation.
When 5 of us showed up, we ordered Alaskan King Crab and they told us that it would be $23/24 a lb. I told them that I called in advance and was told that it was $13 a lb, and they said it was only for crabs which were under 5 lbs. Having had at least 20 Alaskan King Crab in my life, that was clearly a joke - a real Alaskan King Crab does not come under 5 lbs. The waiter then showed us what people would get for below 5 lbs. It was not a King Crab - it is another species of crab which is bigger than the regular crabs. However, since we set out to eat Alaskan King Crab, we agreed to pay the premium price for about 9 pounds and had the real Alaskan King Crab anyway. This is where we made the mistake - we showed them that we could afford it and they got greedy to gyp us further beyond the $225 King Crab. We continued our ordering of soup, vegetables and black cod hotpot. The waiter then suggested that we should have seabass instead of the black cod hotpot, and we can order a 2-dish seabass combo. We thought it was also fish, and it was probably good because he recommended it. They came show us the live Alaskan Crab, but did NOT show us the seabass, so we thought maybe the fish was not fresh or whole.
We finished eating the soup and king crab - not amazing food and the king crab looks less than 9 lbs, but okay, and after waiting for 45 very long mins, we finally saw the two dishes for seabass. Oh my goodness - these two dishes are HUGE - definitely not reasonable for my table. I suddenly noticed that they did cook a whole fish for us, but didn't show us the fish live, so we could not tell whether it was alive or it was HUGE for my table of 5 (2 seniors, 2 adults and 1 child). If this is not dishonestly and lack of integrity, I don't know what is. As expected, when I saw the bill, the seabass was 4 lbs. For those who are not familiar, a 3.5 lb fish is used for a table of 10 during banquet, and this restaurant decided (without telling/showing us) that my table of 3.5 adults (senior and child is about 0.5 adult) should have 9 lbs of Alaskan King Crab followed by 4 lbs of seabass, in addition to the soup and vegetables we were ordering. We must look like very hungry huge eaters since I am only a 100-lb myself. Of course, the seabass was not cheap per lb, so in the end, the bill was $500. I packed some of the seabass home in the end to not waste it.
It is not that we don't have expensive dinner, but this has been the most unenjoyable and shocking $500 dinner that I have had. We were just expecting to have a nicer than average dinner on a weekday and ended up being gyp'ed by these people intentionally. There are way too many good, if not better, Chinese restaurants around - there is no need for me to support a dishonest restaurant as such. The sister restaurant, Empire seafood, also had the same false advertising. I will absolutely not return for dinner on my own accord - I will take my hard-earned money somewhere else and support people who don't set out to cheat their customers.
Brought guests from Hong Kong to this restaurant for the King Crab. Not very busy on a Monday night.
- Restaurant ambience is average with bright lighting and high ceilings
- Very rude staff - with the premium prices, one would expect tolerable service.. but staff would wedge between us to put plates on the table/clear plates off the table without saying "excuse me", and would be terse when we tried to engage them in conversation to get them to lighten up
- Alaskan King Crab was not tasty, the sauce was lumpy, and the meat texture was just weird. Not what you would expect for Alaskan King Crab at all.
- Food was very salty and oily. Even for our guests coming from Hong Kong they thought the food was overseasoned and oily.
I would not recommend going there for Alaskan King Crab or for any other meal
Six of us went to the Empire Chinese Cuisine today (Sunday) for dinner. The restaurant was not busy when we arrived at around 7:30pm. We were quickly seated and attended to. We ordered the meal for 6, which included peking duck, lettuce wrap, mushroom veggies, soup, steam fish, and fried rice. Each of us ended up paying around $26.
The restaurant provides quite a comfortable environment. Spacious and not too noisy. However, the food was really under average. Out of all the dishes that we had, only the peking duck is average. The other ones were all under seasoned. I mean, I understand everyone has a different taste, but all six of us thought of the same thing. The flavour was bland. Also, the steam fish was undercooked, as the part near the bones was bloody and had a foul fishy taste. One of us had it and she had to spit it out, it was quite disgusting!
As for the value, because the food did not taste good at all, therefore I don't think it was worth the money.
We will not return to this restaurant, and will not recommend to anyone.
I used to be a regular at this restaurant, but when they changed owners... my family stopped going, but I continued.. (and I regret the last 2 times I have been there)
Anyways, my friend and I decided to go eat dim sum here yesterday, and I must say.. It wasn't as good as BEFORE!!!!! Dim sum here is pretty cheap compared to Sea Harbour or Shiang Garden... Before 11:00am there is 20% off the bill...
The food was lacking taste and it just didn't taste like "dim sum" to me.... However, the steamed shrimp and scallop dumpling was one the good things we ordered. Other than that. everything else was bleh...
The service was extremely slow... I could understand if it was a Saturday/Sunday morning, but this was on a Wednesday morning(11:30am) .. how busy could it get...? Especially when the restaurant was not even full. I was not impressed when i had to wait 10mins to get my chili oi, and have a lame excuse saying.. "The kitchen is extremely busy.... *waitress gave me mean and stern look*" GIVE ME A BREAK WOMAN...
Ambiance: it is a very clean and spacious chinese restaurant? Other than that.. there is nothing good I have to say about this restuarant until further notice.
I had dinner tonight at this restaurant and here are my reviews of the food and service:
Green Onion and Ginger Steamed Alaskan King Crab – steamed to perfection with a sea-salty sweet flesh.
Egg Fried Rice with King Crab and Tumeric Cream Sauce – the creamy rice surprised me at first but it had a nice flavour.
Crispy Skin Soy Chicken – This was pretty good, until we asked them to put the chicken on a smaller plate for us so we could accommodate larger plates on the table. The lady disappeared with the dish and it never came back until we asked a waiter where it went. It was gone for about 15-20 minutes and was brought back looking like it had been microwaved hot by a sullen waiter. I took one valiant chew and discarded the chicken drumstick; it had been microwaved to a lovely chewy texture.
Whole Fish and Bitter Gourd Boiled in Stock – I liked the fish itself, it was very tender and cooked just right, not my choice of dish flavour-wise though but it is because I don't appreciate bitter foods yet.
Deep Fried Tofu Prawn Croquettes (Pey Pah Tofu) with Steamed Broccoli – I thought the tofu was too starchy (too much cornstarch).
Overall, just going for the King Crab is worth it, it was really well done. But I’m quite turned off by the chicken episode. I think we made a big deal out of nothing but I really would not bring back a microwaved plate of chicken that has been missing for over 15 minutes.
If you want to see pictures check out http://www.eatingupvancouver.com thanks.
After we had good meal on sunday, we decided to try some more chinese restaurant, we did some search on the newspaper, and found this restaurant coz they had lobster ($11.80) and crab ($8.80) on special.
We went there on 6:05 for 6 of us, well decor. after we took some time to discuss our meal tonight, we decided to order, lobster with cream sauce, steam crab, fish maw soup /w crab meat, baby bak choy /w mushroom, salted chicken in half, sweet & sour pork. 6 dishes. the manager show us the crab (3.25lb) & lobster (3.5lb), a bit look smaller than that, but never mind, it's special price. the soup came first, it was too SALTY... and we didn't find any crab meat.... we didn't do any complain on that, coz only a bowl of soup, just drink more tea. the main course (Lobster) came, not bad, just felt it's smaller than 3.5lb. after we finished the lobster, the crab just came, oh.... steam with garlic?? did we just order steam crab??? but the garlic taste good to me.. not my mom... everything not bad beside the soup. desert time, RED BEAN SOUP again :(
We NEVER come to this restaurant again after i see the bill.. $8X.XX for the lobster, $4X.XX for the crab??? isn't it on special?? we asked the manager, and he said we DO NOT have discount on LONG WEEK END.... lobster is $2X.XX, Crab is $13.XX TODAY....Wawawawa.... I have to pay double price on it..... I think i'm really stupid to choose this restaurant. I 'M BEING CHEATED!!!!!!!!
The waiters ignores people's request, first we ask if there was another menu beside set dinner, and the waitress refused to give it to us, and said she has to ask the manager... She never comes back.... Later, we found the manager, and he gave us another menu... We then asked to pay the bill, one of the manager said there is still desert to serve... We waited for another 10 minutes, " no desert" or the bill... we have to find another waiter and he then later came back for the desert... We then asked to pay the bill, and the waiter take the ticket on our desk and left, and he never came back... We have to ask another waiter to place another request for the bill... And in the end, they insist they need a bigger tip even with this lousy service.
We go here very often for dim sum but even with a reservation they often still make you wait for like an additional 30 minutes. Come before 10:30 to avoid the waits and also if you order before 11, it's 20% off. The food is pretty good and there is a lot of variety. It is a bit oily, but the food is pretty solid compared to many other chinese restaurants.
For a table of 6, we usually have to order 12-15 dishes to be able to be "full". The bill is usually $60-70, yeah so it's not that cheap. Some must try dishes are: Baked tapioca, spareribs in black bean sauce, wonton in soup, shrimp spring rolls, and the baked barbecue pork buns. I'd highly recommend staying away from the congee because it's really watery and just ugh.
As for ambiance, there's nothing special about it. It can get really crowded and loud like any other typical chinese restaurant. The service is ok. The waiters don't speak english very well and it can be hard to order sometimes. The food though comes out really fast so you rarely have to wait for anything. If you're looking for a quick and decent Sunday morning restaurant, I'd definitely recommend Empire.
Coming often to Richmond/Vancouver, I always keep a couple of nice restaurants in mind for traditional Chinese dinner. Empire clearly fills that need. Great traditional food, albeit a bit pricey, but no more exprensive, I think, than other more famous restaurants that advertise at YVR Airport on billboards. And in somewhat subjective taste tests, of the 4 nice sit-down places in Richmond all within the same area, (Sun Sui Wah, Kingford, Kirin, and Empire), the food is consistently better and has remained so for the last few years, and that's not just my opinion, but that of my Aunts, Uncles, Wife, and cousins. Convenient downstairs parking in the structure and easy location to ATM because if you're going to fight over the bill like I do with relatives, the one who prepays the bill with cash wins!
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